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Unformatted text preview: learners recognizing the structural relationships among problem types.
Bernardo (2001) suggests that learners’ ability to recognize such relationships is
enhanced by the use of an analogical-problem construction strategy. With this approach
learners are provided with a worked example of a problem, then asked to write a problem
of their own that is similar to the example. Bernardo’s research has shown that learners
who apply this strategy are better able to transfer their problem solving skills to new
Appropriate practice. Practice is essential to the development of a skill, and the
skill is more likely to transfer if practice occurs within an appropriate cognitive context
(Carlson, Khoo, and Elliot, 1990). Cognitive context refers to the learners’ beliefs about
why they are practicing a skill. An appropriate cognitive context requires that the learner
be aware of why, when, and how the skill will be use as they practice the skill. This
means that when learning a new skill, students should be made aware of this information
early and be reminded of it as they practice the skill. One approach to providing students
with this awareness is to demonstrate the application of the skill in as many appropriate
contexts as possible early in the learning sequence. 32
Transfer of procedural knowledge to procedural knowledge, In many
situations previously learned skills serve as components of skills that are learned later.
For example, students need to multiply and subtract during long division. In some cases,
these component skills need to be in place first. In the long division example, it would be
useful for students to have learned how to subtract before beginning their learning of long
division. Consequently, the important instructional issue is making sure that skills are
taught in a logical sequence. In Chapter 10, we discuss how to analyze skills for their
In other cases, it may be useful to engage students in the more complex skill, and
have them learn component skills as necessary. For example, students might be engaged
in a complicated problem-solving task in environmental science that requires component
skills such as topographic map reading or the use of certain laboratory procedures of
equipment. Instructional modules could be created to teach these skills when students
need them in their problem solving. The underlying assumption is that these skills may
seem more understandable when taught in terms of their use or purpose. We will have
more to say about this when we discuss constructivism and transfer.
Principle 3.4: Learning is an Active and Goal directed Process
As you remember from Chapter 3, cognitive theorists view learners as having an
active role in regulating their own learning. Self-regulating learners engage in a series of
metacognitive activities such as identifying their goal, selecting appropriate strategies for
their goal, and monitoring their progress on a learning task. These types of activities
require learners to transfer previously learned pro...
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- Spring '08